Thursday, November 16, 2017

Howdy folks. I am in the process of upgrading my blog page so you may have to look around a bit to find what you're looking for.
At the same time, I started a different blog strictly for the SCARS book chapters. You can find that on https://perryhubbardwriting.wordpress.com.
I will be adjusting the content on here, as well, as only Chapter 1 of the Scars book will be left on this page.
I thank you for your patience while I slowly get these kinks worked out.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Image result for poppy image


LEST WE FORGET.







Hello again. I had this write-up all queued up and ready to post last night, which I thought I did, but in my haste to get to the Maple Leafs game I apparently forgot to hit "Publish" before closing the blog! Details, details. So, here you go...better late than never. Enjoy.


THE BIG MISTAKE

 November 10, 2017

I wanted the readership to know that I missed posting on this blog yesterday as I had a much more important service to provide and that was to look after our 8-month-old grandson, Ryker for the day. His Mom, our daughter Meghan, has gone back to work in her salon a few days a month and I love to do the babysitting honours, whenever my schedule allows, to save her a few bucks on childcare while Ryker and I get to spend a lot of time together bonding.

Ryker has an older brother Treyton (8) and a sister Ava (6) and they are wonderful children and I love my time with them, as well, but yesterday was just Ryker and Papa’s day.

Besides, baby Ryker is about the happiest baby in the world. Even while he’s teething!! And he loves to sleep on Papa’s chest during nap times which, to me, is just about the best salve for a person’s soul, there can be. He’s such a happy, cute, cuddly little guy and you cannot help but feel better about life after spending time with him.

That said, it wasn’t lost on me that yesterday, the 9th of November, also happened to be the one-year anniversary of the 2016 United States Presidential Election and we all know what happened there. If ever one needed some salve for the soul, that was the day. Thank you, Ryker!

November 9th, 2016 was the day that the American voters proceeded to the polls and delivered unto the world “The Big Mistake”. Apathy, ignorance and American narcissism propelled Donald Trump into the Presidency of the Excited States of America and ever since that day we have been spectators to the Trump Train Wreck! If you wrote the whole story as if it were fiction you’d be a laughing stock! You can’t make this shit up!

Now, I’m just a small-town Canadian boy whose Paternal Grandparents and their parents and their parents were residents of the United States, so I am comfortable speaking freely about our American cousins because I have a lot of American cousins and I feel for them, or blame them, as it were.

Now, it’s all fun to watch, as awful as it is, but my true feeling is that The Donald could not have arrived at a better time in human history than now. He is merely the catalyst for the exposure of the underbelly of hatred and fear that has been festering and percolating below the surface for years.

And I’m not talking about his “Swamp Draining”, either, ridding the world of the political elite, I’m talking about the rampant racism, the misogyny, the absence of basic human compassion, the reverse Robin Hood, as in-taking from the poor to give to the rich and on and on we go.

These are the attributes that the 45th President of the United States brought with him to the White House. Attributes shared by too many of his base supporters.

There are a couple of reasons why I think now is the best time for Trump. One, bringing out the very worst in humanity only shows how much more work and education is needed to move forward towards a more open and progressive world.

The second reason that makes now the best time for Trump is that this guy is a shining example for our children and their children of how NOT  to act as a human being. “I don’t really care what you are going to be when you grow up, Junior, but just don’t be this! Oh, sure, you can be president, but don’t be Donald Trump.”

Again, I’m a simple Canadian prairie boy and this is my opinion, take it or leave it. Also, I am not looking down my Canadian nose at my American cousins,  here, because Canada and Canadians have their share of isms as well and we have as long a road ahead as our American neighbours in becoming a truly, all-inclusive, modern society.

Monday, November 6, 2017

SCARS- A novel by Perry N. Hubbard-Chapter 1

      

Chapter 1

      He was sitting in his big chair watching the hockey game on TV when his 3 year-old-grandson, Ethan, climbed up onto his lap. Ethan loves his Mom’s Dad who he calls Pops, Papa or Grandpa, depending on the little guy’s mood or the situation, I guess.

Ethan loves sitting on Papa’s lap, and as a rule, whenever he was at Grandpa and Grandma Palmer’s house visiting with his Mom and Dad, the two of them would be sitting together on Papa’s chair at the head of the table after every meal. The tradition was started immediately upon Ethan's birth and continues still.

Ethan loved both his Grandma Darcy and Grandpa Rod Palmer, but he was especially close to his Grandfather and they spent a lot of time together. Ethan hung on every word his Papa said.

            As he settled onto his Grandpa’s lap Ethan couldn’t help noticing his Grandfather scratching vigorously on his right shoulder, “What are you scratching so hard at Papa?”

“Oh, this old scar on my right shoulder drives me nuts. Must be the nerves, or something, but it itches like hell sometimes.”

“Let me see, let me see. What scar? Where is it? What happened? How didja get that Papa? How old were you?”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa buddy, one at a time. Let me tell you about that scar, then. I would like to say that I got cut up fighting a demon or something; or I fought a knife-wielding biker in a bar to save a woman’s honour, but the truth is, and you always tell the truth because, (in unison) always tell the truth that way you don’t have to remember anything! Right, right, atta boy. You’re so smart!

So anyway, the truth is I was getting surgery on my right shoulder that I messed up playing fastball back in the '80’s and while the surgeon was fixing whatever he was fixing in there, hm…old Doc Silver, I think it was, something like that anyway...Silver...Sauder...Saunter...Santa?" Ethan giggles,"...whatever...doesn't matter...anyways, whatever his name was he was tightening shit up in there.”

“Papa!” Ethan cried out.

“…I know, I know…here’s for the swear jar…yeah, yeah, yeah, now, where was I? Yes, while he was fixing my shoulder he cut out a big ol’ fat ball that had grown under my skin right over the front shoulder socket. It didn’t bother me much, but it looked pretty goofy bulging out there. Ol' Doc Whoever says it was just a benign, that means "not nasty", fat ball so he offered to take it out while he had my shoulder frozen and I said sure and now I’ve got this damn itchy scar here, see?” He lifts his t-shirt sleeve up and shows Ethan the 11/2” scar and Ethan runs his index finger over the small surgical scar.

“I have no idea why it gets so itchy now and again, but when it does it’s ITCHY!”

“You got a lot of scars don’t cha Grampa?”

            Chuckling Grandpa says, “Oh, yes, that’s for sure, buddy. Don’t I know it. Threw the old body around a lot over the decades. I got the other shoulder operated on, too, you know. This one over here was arthroscopic surgery so they only left these little scars…see…not like this 4” nasty one over here but it did the same thing inside, I guess.

 Now, the left one was a hockey injury. Wiped out on the ice and pancaked on my left armpit back-checking in an old timer’s game. Dumbass! Whoops…here you go again, but “Dumbass” shouldn’t qualify as swearing but that’s splittin’ hairs, isn’t it buddy? You’re likely gonna get most of my money someday anyway, so, here you go.

Where was I? Oh, yeah! Who fu….. who the heck back checks in an old timer’s game? Hm? Me I guess….go hard or go home, eh?”

“Hey Papa tell me about your extreme pain again.”

“Hmph,” Papa said with a little nose snort and head bob, “You remember that one, do you? Well that’s quite a story. It was the day before your mom and Dad’s wedding, you see. You were having a nap, so you and I had stayed back at your Mom and Dad’s place while everyone else went to the community hall to decorate for the wedding….”


Friday, November 3, 2017

BOOK CHAPTER INSTALLMENTS

After using this blog spot for posting all of my personal interest columns for a number of years, I am going to do something a little different on this site and see how the readership reacts.
I have had a couple of book ideas for a while now and I am going to publish a chapter regularly on the first book that I want to work on and post those chapters here. They will be serialized so once you finish the first chapter you will want, (I hope), to come back for the next chapter and so on until I'm either done the book or it continues in perpetuity.
The idea came to me a few years ago  while I was sitting with my grandson, who would have been three or four years old at the time, (he's 8 years old now), shortly after I had had back surgery. I referred to the scar on my lower back, beside my spinal column, as my "extreme pain" as an explanation as to why I couldn't do all of the physical things that I had done with him in the past like wrestling on the floor or tossing him in the air. He would often lift the back of my shirt and want to look at my "extreme pain" to see how it was doing.
Treyton is a very intelligent, thoughtful, little guy and he wanted to know everything there was to know about the incident, or incidents rather, that caused the disc herniation, which happened to occur the day before his Mom and Dad's wedding! I know! Interesting story...
I told him the tale and then I said that I had a whole bunch of scars on my body and that every scar had a story...if you can remember them, that is. Like the time Davey Quan stepped on my right ankle while he was wearing pointy spiked TRACK shoes while we were playing after school pick-up football and it left two or three scars where the spikes had sunk into my lower leg and ankle bone. (FYI-I told the dink not to wear those shoes but.... nooooooooo!!) That incident happened when I was about fifteen-years-old and by the time I was fully grown those scars, which were millimetres apart after that dumb-ass stepped on me in 1972, became centimetres apart after reaching my full height.
Another time I was getting my car fixed by this guy who lived in a sketchy neighbourhood in Regina and did his work in his backyard garage. He, of course, had a big-ass dog chained up in the yard for protection. It was a German Shepard guard dog and it was a nice enough dog, if you knew it, which I did and I hadn't had any issues with him at all.
Anyway, the guy had a bunch of junky cars in the yard, as these type of guys are prone to do, and the dog was sitting on the hood of one of the cars when I arrived. It was in the spring and there was still snow on the ground and the yard was all slushy and muddy and everything, and so was the dog, and as I walked by him he barked, lost his balance, slipped off the hood of the car and landed on the ground with a woof-grunt right beside me.
I don't know if it was from the shock of the fall or the embarrassment and pain of it all but he landed, yelped and proceeded to chomp down on my right calf like his wipeout was all MY damn fault! Yowza that hurt!! Then came the tetanus shot and then the thing got infected and then it took forever to heal and then it left a real nasty ol' scar!
So, there you have it. Those are the types of tales I will be telling on a regular, chapter by chapter basis which will become my book Scars.
I am asking anyone who reads and likes these stories to please spread the word.
Chapter 1 of the book Scars is coming very soon.

Bye for now.

Monday, October 23, 2017

STARTING OVER

A lot has transpired in my life since last posting on this writing blog five months ago. The last post was on May 22nd during a time when I was so super busy in my employment as the manager of a new liquor outlet that was under construction, and under my supervision, in Kipling that I decided to take a bit of a writing hiatus.
Now those things have completely changed. The store is open and running and I am no longer employed there, which is a story of book-like length, so I will leave those details alone for now.
It’s always good news and bad news whenever life-altering events occur and when one door closes another one opens. The job ended which provided me with an opportunity to revisit my passion and pick up the pen or keyboard, as it were, and get back to writing.
I recall giving this advice to our youngest daughter who later played it right back to me shortly after my employment ended-“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it!” Wise words indeed. See, parents, our children often listen to us even when we think otherwise.
I have been submitting various columns, (almost every one of them posted to this blog site), since 2002 in a Saskatchewan weekly newspaper, The Kipling Citizen. These personal interest columns have covered many subjects including politics, family life, sports, social media, lifestyle changes and there's always the weather. I attempt to inject as much humour into these articles and essays as I can but I have been known to unleash a political rant or two now and again just to spice things up.
Although I gave up my regular editorial spot in the weekly paper I am going to return to writing an article per week, as I have done in the past, and post it here every week. I will also offer it to The Citizen if they ever need some content to fill out the paper.

Best selling author, our back-door neighbour and my English teacher from High School, Mary Balogh, says that the best way to avoid writer’s block and the best way to make a living writing is simply…write, write, write. I intend to do that.
"Inspiration comes from hard work."- Mary Balogh.

Monday, May 22, 2017

HOCKEY REUNION AND HONOURING AN OLD FRIEND

            I woke up on the 1st of May and immediately breathed a sigh of relief as I took my first glances out of the window to make sure that the ground was only wet and not covered in a foot or two of snow. Remember the massive dump of ’11 and then a repeat in ’13? Yuck! What a way to start the month of May.
            We needed a nice soaking rain to wash the ugly off of the last vestiges of winter and get some things greening up. That we could use. What we didn’t need was another snow on the cawing crows. That can wait until those irritating bloody things are heading back down south next fall.
            Snow or no snow the golf course is opening up and baseball has begun. In other words…spring has sprung! Now all we need is some temperatures over the +10C mark and we’d be laughing.
            Even though the outdoor spring sports activities are underway good old hockey is not too far away from any Canadian sports fan’s mind. Right now we are into the second round of the NHL Playoffs and Major Junior Hockey’s Regina Pats are the Eastern Conference Champions and they’re headed to the Western Hockey League Finals with the hopes of winning the Memorial Cup-the holiest of junior hockey’s holy grails.
            Named for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the WHL’s Pats are the Canadian Hockey League’s oldest franchise beginning operations in 1917, and celebrating their 100th anniversary next season.  The club has competed in a record 12 Memorial Cup Championship games including the inaugural final back in 1919 before winning major junior hockey’s prize three times in 1925, 1930, and 1974. The Regina Pats will be hosting the Memorial Cup in 2018 their Centennial Season.
Sticking with the hockey and memorial theme I had mentioned a few columns ago that some old Kipling Royals and Pipestone Beaver alumni wanted to reunite to share some old hockey war stories later this year. Initially I had announced the date as the 17th of June but the event will be held on the 10th of June.
This event will be open to anyone and everyone. Anybody who has had any experience with organized sports teams know that just having players doesn’t necessarily make a “team”. Coaches, managers, training staff, permission from spouses, (if required), and moral support from a fan base are necessary for the success of any team so whenever there is a reunion it should be all-inclusive and this one is.
I had also mentioned that one of the main pushes to get this event going was the too-soon passing of Brian Gallagher last June. Brian played on both of these teams and his old teammates wanted to provide a memorial for him.
Brian was a great goalie and an even better person. Brian really loved hockey but I would have to say that his love of the land and farming even surpassed his love of hockey. Brian didn’t have a great tolerance for formal schooling but he was a well-educated man. He loved reading and learning and his knowledge of history, politics and science, to name a few, was astounding.  
When it was suggested, by Mark Toppings, Brian’s friend and teammate on both the Pipestone Beavers and the Kipling Royals, that the best way to memorialize Brian was to start an Agriculture School Scholarship Fund  it was the perfect fit. Decision made.
 Circle the date. There will be a fun golf game at Kingswood Golf Course followed by a supper and social at the good ol’ Kipling Arena. It will be a great time for a great cause.
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.”-Rosa Parks, (1913-2005).


Monday, April 24, 2017

EASTER MEMORIES


            Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. In Christian religion Good Friday marks the death of Jesus Christ and it is a fundamental part of Christianity along with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

            Needless to say, as my father was a United Church minister, Easter was a very special time of the year around our home growing up. The religious aspects were lost on me, though, as my Easter revolved around the Easter egg hunt, the Easter candies and goodies and those old standby Easter favourites…the Oh Henry Easter egg bars. Oh man, I loved those Oh Henry bars! Still do!

            Sidebar here: are those bars that much smaller in size now than they were when I was a kid in the ‘60’s or am I just that much bigger? Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps a little bit of both.

            The other great treat at Eastertime was the Easter break from school. What school-age child doesn’t like a break from school? Oh sure, there were those one or two keeners that we grew up with who wished there was school every day but there was something just a little “off” with that kind of thinking to me.

            Because we lived in Saskatchewan and the Easter weekend moved around the calendar a bit you could either be making a snowman or getting a sunburn. Sometimes you could be getting both done at the same time! But spring is a great time of year to be away from school whether you were rafting in runoff water or playing street or “ground” hockey or bringing out the ball gloves and baseball bats for the first time in the year. 

            I was one of the younger siblings in our family and I recall anxiously waiting for my older brother and sisters and their families to come home for the Easter break. There was always a house full of people with lots of food, fun and frivolity. After I grew older and I moved away from home I joined my siblings and their families in travelling home to Mom and Dad’s house to celebrate Easter with them.  

            Debbie and I started our thirty-seven-year relationship right around Easter so this time of year is extra special for us in that regard, too. I recall one of the very first times that Deb had much interaction with my oldest sibling, my brother Jack. Dad and Mom were living in Coledale, Alberta, at that time, and a lot of my family members were gathered at their place for Easter. Dad and Mom had a big house and many of us were staying with them including me and Deb as well as Jack and his wife Susan.

            Just a little background note here: Jack’s wife Susan doted over him and did everything for him “just so” as he was a pretty particular guy with his food likes and dislikes and his clothing choices and the ironing on his pants and shirts which had to be exact as he was pretty darn fussy. I’m pretty sure that Susan even ironed Jack’s gitch and socks, for crying out loud!

            Anyway, it’s Easter Sunday morning and we’re all getting ready for church and recently married Debbie comes along with my dress shirt and says, “Here’s your shirt, I’ve got it all ironed and ready for you” and my brother Jack looks the shirt up and down and says to Deb, “You call that ironed?” Followed by his loud, boisterous laugh! Deb took it in stride and ribbed him back but the story became standard Easter Sunday lore in the family.

             The torch has been passed in the family now, as we are the ones anxiously awaiting our children and their families to arrive for the Easter weekend to carry on the family traditions and it’s highly likely that some Oh Henry bars will be part of the festivities this time around, too.

 

“In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past and a bridge to our future,”-Alex Haley.(1921-1992).

Howdy folks. I am in the process of upgrading my blog page so you may have to look around a bit to find what you're looking for. At the ...